I dread the trip from Dallas to Palm Springs to care for my sister, BC, who is recuperating from cancer surgery. Our dysfunctional relationship, although healing since our mother’s death, still has echoes of past pitfalls. We don’t agree on politics, abortion, gay marriage, or the Eucharist. When I cry out to the Lord he consoles me, empowering me with a personal word that surprises me, “Be at peace; my mercy is with you.” Why mercy and not grace? Maybe because today begins our family’s Divine Mercy Novena.
Recent mass readings remind me that Jesus is the vine and I must remain attached to him, for without him I can do nothing. The promise of bearing much fruit (Jn 15:1-8) to glorify the Father carries the added promise to “ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.”